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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 18 2019, @02:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the you're-crazy dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

With Microsoft embracing Linux ever more tightly, might it do the heretofore unthinkable and dump the NT kernel in favor of the Linux kernel? No, I’m not ready for the funny farm. As it prepares Windows 11, Microsoft has been laying the groundwork for such a radical release.

I’ve long toyed with the idea that Microsoft could release a desktop Linux. Now I’ve started taking that idea more seriously — with a twist. Microsoft could replace Windows’ innards, the NT kernel, with a Linux kernel.

It would still look like Windows. For most users, it would still work like Windows. But the engine running it all would be Linux.

Why would Microsoft do this? Well, have you been paying attention to Windows lately? It has been one foul-up after another. Just in the last few months there was the registry backup fail and numerous and regular machine-hobbling Windows updates. In fact, updates have grown so sloppy you have to seriously wonder whether it’s safer to stay open to attacks or “upgrade” your system with a dodgy patch.

Remember when letting your Windows system get automatic patches every month was nothing to worry about? I do. Good times.

Why is this happening? The root cause of all these problems is that, for Microsoft, Windows desktop software is now a back-burner product. It wants your company to move you to Windows Virtual Desktop and replace your existing PC-based software, like Office 2019, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) programs like Office 365. It’s obvious, right? Nobody in Redmond cares anymore, so quality assurance for Windows the desktop is being flushed down the toilet.

Many of the problems afflicting Windows do not reside in the operating system’s upper levels. Instead, their roots are deep down in the NT kernel. What, then, if we could replace that rotten kernel with a fresh, healthy kernel? Maybe one that is being kept up to date by a worldwide group of passionate developers. Yes, my bias is showing, but that’s Linux, and it’s a solution that makes a lot of sense.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:44PM (7 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:44PM (#895813) Journal

    Windows was built for one user, solitary, no password needed.
    Business wanted the ability to share, so MS crapped in networking but left it MEGA vulnerable. They crapped in security...which made it appear secure, but it isn't.

    Linux was built from scratch for multiple users on a network with built-in security.

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  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:51PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @08:51PM (#895820)

    Linux was built from scratch for a student project to get a decent grade.

    There. FTFY.

    That's not to say it hasn't been wildly successful and is (in general) much more secure out of the box than Windows.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @11:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18 2019, @11:58PM (#895899)

      Linux was built from scratch for a student project to get a decent grade.

      I wonder what grade it got.

  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:50PM (1 child)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Wednesday September 18 2019, @09:50PM (#895863) Journal

    Most users don't want to share their computers with others over either a network or the internet. They don't run servers.

    Same as most users consider having to log in and wait for the system to stabilize is a pain in the arse. They would rather just turn it on, get a coffee, and come back with everything up and ready for them.

    Same reason we don't put passwords on our phones. The devices are for OUR convenience.

    "oh but someone can steal your data". If you use Android, or Facebook, or Google, nobody has to steal it - you're giving it away already.

    Most of the time my laptop isn't even connected to a network. The idea of being connected all the time by default is dumb.

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    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:52PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday September 18 2019, @10:52PM (#895878) Journal

      Except businesses DEMAND connections ALL the time.
      They demand multiple users.

      And they demand security... Which is why businesses are switching their servers to Linux.

      Most users could get by using Linux, see the rise of android, they just don't know it. If suddenly everyone got smart, you'd see use of Windows dropping to niche markets and, maybe, gaming.

      But if everyone was smart, they'd use secure phones and use passwords.

      Microsoft is dead, its just people are too stupid to realize it.

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      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dry on Thursday September 19 2019, @05:06AM (2 children)

    by dry (223) on Thursday September 19 2019, @05:06AM (#895989) Journal

    I thought NT was designed to be multi-user, the MS version of HPFS had pretty good ACL support. Of course when they threw Windows on top of it, you had a single user userland on top of multi-user kernel.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:31PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 19 2019, @04:31PM (#896140) Journal

      Hang on a second. "when they threw Windows on top of it" means what, exactly? "single user userland on top of a multi-user kernel". Isn't that what we have on Linux? 17 people* could all be logged into my Debian machine, and I couldn't follow what they are doing, unless I invoke super-user privileges. Users are separate and distinct, and they can't manipulate each other's stuff, unless that stuff is explicitly shared.

      *17 people can also be logged into Windows, but they can't all be active at the same time, unless they are running a server OS. I've tried it on home, student, and pro versions - it just doesn't work.

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Friday September 20 2019, @01:14AM

        by dry (223) on Friday September 20 2019, @01:14AM (#896329) Journal

        NT was originally designed to have various personalities or sub-systems running on the kernel, originally OS/2, Windows and Posix and I assume the Posix personality was quite capable of having multiple users logged in and each having their own shell, much the same as your Debian system. The Windows subsystem just wasn't designed for that. It might have been possible under the OS/2 subsystem and running Citrix, which at the time only ran on OS/2 and only supported text mode.
        Today you might be able to run the Xserver or a terminal on NT under the new Linux subsystem and have multiple people logged in with permissions keeping them separate.